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The band Thursday has been performing together for more than a quarter-century, first coming together to play concerts in New Jersey basements back in 1997. And they’re still at it now. The War All the Time rockers have just wrapped up a two-month tour with Cursive, Appleseed Cast, and Nate Bergman, packing music venues night after night with exhilarated fans old and new. After a brief break, they’ll go right back on the road, appearing as a special guest on My Chemical Romance’s much-anticipated tour and hitting the festival circuit.
Providing the beat that holds the group together is Tucker Rule, Thursday’s energetic, crowd-igniting percussionist – who happens to be a plant-based eater with a passion for animal welfare. A vegetarian of 32 years and self-described “mostly vegan,” Rule credits his plant-powered diet for fueling his rock-star endurance on-stage.
“Playing drums for an hour or hour-and-30-minute set is very physically demanding, and if you aren’t warmed up and your body isn’t fueled correctly, it can be disastrous to your playing and even lead to injury. I try to stick to a pretty strict regimen of what I eat and when I eat.”
When he’s not on tour, Rule can be found nesting at home with his wife, Lexie, and their daughter, Birdie. “I’m a stay-at-home dad, and I have a studio in my garage, Rip Room Studios, where I do remote drum recordings for various artists.”
When and why did you go vegetarian?
I went vegetarian when I was 11 years old. In the years leading up to going vegetarian, my family would make something like filet mignon and I’d completely cover it with A1 steak sauce to mask the flavor of the meat. I was around 11 when I realized I could choose what I wanted to eat and that I didn’t approve of how animals were treated.
Are the other members of Thursday vegetarian or vegan too?
I’m the only vegetarian/mostly vegan member of the band. However, there are a few of the crew members that tour with us who eat vegan.
Do you think your veg diet fuels your musical life and career?
I definitely feel that after 32 years of a mostly-plant-based diet, I’ve noticed a positive impact on my mental and physical state, especially when I’m able to eat really clean and shy away from take-out food, which can be very challenging on the road.
How do you manage to maintain your veg diet when touring?
Luckily, on most of the tours we are on, there is a budget for a rider, which is basically a document we provide to the venues that states what we require backstage during the show. That can range from a box of COVID tests to a bottle of alcohol. Typically we ask for a bunch of avocados, plant-based cheeses, plant-based meats, ginger shots, bananas, and a veggie tray with hummus. We also have several plant-based restaurants across the country we loved to frequent pre-pandemic. Thankfully a lot of these restaurants deliver straight to the bus!
What is your go-to snack food?
My go-to is always a Trader Joe’s ABC (Almond Butter and Cocoa) Bar.
I’m not really a dessert person, however I am known to curl up on the couch with Balsamic, Vinegar, and Basil Triscuits.
Name five items you always have in your pantry or fridge.
Homemade bean salad, Medjool dates, Ripple plant-based pea milk, plant-based cheese, blueberries.
What I Eat in a Day: Musician Tucker Rule of Thursday
Breakfast: On tour I scout out the closest and highest-rated juice shop and get the greenest smoothie they have. At home I make my own green smoothie with 1 banana, 1 apple, a big handful of kale, a big handful of spinach, 2 medjool dates, hemp seed, flax seed, half an avocado, and water.
Lunch: On tour I try to find some sort of overnight oats concoction or make myself avocado toast on some Dave’s Killer Bread. At home, my wife, Lexie, makes a large bowl of bean salad (black beans, red beans, and chickpeas with bell peppers, tomato, cucumber, an Italian Good Seasons packet, and red wine vinegar). I usually roll that up with some spinach or kale in a tortilla. If I’m really hungry, I’ll add a Morningstar Farms Chick’n Patty.
Dinner: Tour is not always the healthiest, but today, for example, I had a Vegan Chipotle Bowl with Soyrizo. At home: During COVID we actually chose to eat Purple Carrot recipes, which were very tasty! We would get Purple Carrot delivery every Monday. They always have a great variety of meals that are easy to prepare. My all-time favorite is the Japanese gnocchi.